The mental burden of mothers is a topic that is being talked about more and more. When we become a mother, the weight of our decisions seems to increase because they affect this little person for whom we are now responsible.
Counter Maternal Stress
With so many things to think about, tasks to do, and decisions to make, it's no surprise that a third of moms say they feel stressed (8, 9 or 10 on a scale of 10), according to recent studies, including this one.
The benefits of physical activity for expectant and new mothers are well documented. The results are strong enough to convince us all to take the plunge (no impact please!) and adopt a he althy lifestyle: reduced incidence of postpartum depression, feeling increased parenting skills, development of a support network.
It's not just the social aspect that makes prenatal and postnatal training the obvious choice to deal with the stress that mothers experience. A training plan adapted for pregnant women and in rehabilitation post-childbirth acts directly on the physical symptoms of stress specific to this clientele.
The perfect hormonal cocktail
Athletes testify to this: we quickly become addicted to the feeling of well-being provided by the fact of moving! And it's not for nothing. The hormones released through physical activity - endorphins, serotonin, dopamine - are known to have a "happiness" effect.
When you're pregnant or a new mom, hormonal changes can cause mood swings and when you add frequent waking up at night, the proper functioning of our endocrine system is disrupted. When we work out, we help our body achieve a hormonal balance that helps keep our spirits up and promotes restful sleep, which is essential to our sense of well-being.
And if we add baby to our workout, we mix oxytocin, the love hormone, into our cocktail for the perfect zen mommy recipe.
Tone and release
Questionable postural habits (we all know mom's posture!), loads to lift, bad nights and muscle and ligament relaxation during pregnancy and daily repetitive movements create a disastrous recipe for muscle tension. Exercise is the best way to optimize the interconnection of muscle kinetic chains in our bodies.
By toning, warming up and stretching our muscles, we help release tension and rebuild themuscular structures that support and stabilize us.
The mind-body connection
Our cardiovascular he alth is essential to promote endurance and live life as a mom without exhausting yourself. It's been proven: the use of breathing techniques helps to lower our resting heart rate and calm our mind. When the physical symptoms of stress are taken care of, our mental he alth benefits.
An exercise in cardiac coherence
Tip: we try this, three times a day. Inhale 5 seconds, exhale 5 seconds, and so on, for 5 minutes.
Are you going through a stressful time? Are your nights short? You'll be better equipped to face the challenges of motherhood if you roll out your yoga mat and put on your sneakers. Need more motivation? Sign up for a group class with a friend. Because after all, your he alth (physical AND mental) is important.
- Sampselle, CM, Seng, J, Yeo, S, Killion, C, Oakley, D. (1999). Physical activity and postpartum well-being
- Varvogli, L. (2011) Stress management techniques: evidence-based procedures that reduce stress and promote he alth